Telltale Signs That Your Tooth Is Infected

Telltale Signs That Your Tooth Is Infected

No toothaches are exactly the same. Some start as a slight nagging sensation only when you bite down, while others might throb incessantly whether you’re eating or not. Regardless of whether you have a minor toothache or a severe one, untreated toothaches can lead to infections. 

Because oral infections can spread to other parts of your body, it’s essential to treat an infected tooth as soon as possible 一 and that’s just one of the many reasons Mehrnoosh Darj, DDS, offers urgent care services here at Dr. Darj Dental in El Paso, Texas.

Here are five telltale signs that you have an infected tooth.

1. Pain and discomfort

Infected teeth can cause pain near the tooth itself, but the pain can also radiate. You might experience:

The only way to eliminate a toothache for good is to treat the underlying infection — and any other issues such as cracks or decay. However, until you’ve arrived for your appointment, you can take the edge off of your pain with over-the-counter pain medication, cold compresses on your cheeks, oral anesthetic gel, and salt water swishing.

2. Increased tooth sensitivity 

In addition to causing pain, an infection can increase the sensitivity of your tooth. This includes sensitivity to pressure, which you might experience when you bite down or chew food, and to hot and cold food and drinks.

Note that sensitivity on its own doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infection. Cavities and recent tooth whitening can also cause tooth sensitivity. 

3. Swelling

Edema is one of the most common signs of an oral infection 一 or any infection, for that matter. Also known as swelling, edema can show up on your face (especially your cheeks), but it can also lead to swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck.

Facial swelling can be a sign of an allergic reaction, too. If the swelling is so severe that it makes breathing difficult, call 9-1-1 or head to the nearest emergency department. 

4. Fever

Any temperature reading over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever. Fevers are your body’s way of killing off the bacteria or virus that caused the infection. If you have a fever, you might experience a headache and chills.

5. Bad breath

It’s not uncommon to have bad breath after eating a meal with garlic or onions, but food-related bad breath usually subsides after you brush your teeth. That’s not the case with an infection. 

Bacteria emit a foul odor, and if your tooth is infected, you may notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth as well. Your breath might smell bad even if you just brushed your teeth.

Treating tooth infections

Teeth become infected if bacteria sneak in through a chip, crack, or cavity. In order to stop the spread of the infection and to address your tooth pain, you may need antibiotics as well as dental treatment to repair the crack or cavity. 

Depending on what caused your infection, your treatment options vary. Potential treatments include:

If your toothache is accompanied by fever, swelling, and pain when chewing, call Dr. Darj for a same-day appointment at 915-213-4097. For less urgent matters, you can request an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When to Seek Immediate Care for a Tooth Injury

Accidents happen when you least expect them, but knowing when it’s time to visit dental urgent care can mean the difference between losing a tooth and saving a tooth. Read on to learn when you should seek immediate care for a tooth injury.

How to Avoid the Need for a Root Canal

Root canal therapy is designed to save a tooth that’s at risk of being pulled, but how can you avoid the need for a root canal in the first place? There are a few things that you can do, and we cover all of them in this blog.

5 Reasons Behind Veneers' Popularity

Are you dreaming of a new smile? Veneers are a popular cosmetic choice that can turn any smile from dull and damaged to dazzling. Read on to uncover five reasons why veneers continue to be the go-to option for smile makeovers.

Who Can Benefit From Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin coatings your dentist painlessly applies to the chewing surface of your teeth to help “seal out” the bacteria and reduce your risk of cavities. Are they right for you? Read on to see who can benefit from dental sealants.

How to Know If Your Gums Are Healthy

You might not think much about your gums, but their health is important. In this blog, we explain how you can determine if your gums are healthy and when you might consider dental intervention for unhealthy gums.

What Is Mercury and How Is It Used in Dentistry?

Mercury is a heavy metal that tells you the temperature, but what exactly is this metal? And why is it dangerous in dentistry? Read on to learn more what mercury is, how dentists use it, and how you can avoid mercury exposure in dentistry.